- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014
Beshear signs $4.1 billion road plan

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has signed into law a $4.1 billion road construction plan that does not include a gas tax increase.

Beshear had proposed raising the gas tax 1.5 cents per gallon. The increase would have brought in an extra $107 million to pay for road projects across the state. House Democrats approved the increase, but Senate Republicans blocked it.

Highlights of the road plan include $35 million for a new interchange on I-75 next to a Toyota factory, $28.7 million to continue planning the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge in Covington and $123 million over two years to continue widening the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky.

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Kentucky extends some health insurance policies

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentuckians can keep their health insurance policies that do not comply with the federal Affordable Care Act for an extra year.

The Kentucky Department of Insurance announced Friday it will allow health insurance companies to extend their non-compliant policies through Oct. 1, 2017. The original deadline had been Oct. 1, 2016.

Insurance companies have until May 5 to notify the state whether they choose to extend the policies.

The extension does not affect new plans or plans in place prior to March 23, 2010.

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No deadline for Lexington to pay back Rupp money

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Friday he will not set a deadline for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government to pay back $2.5 million the state used as seed money for the proposed renovations to Rupp Arena.

Beshear vetoed language in House Bill 301 that would have required Lexington to pay back the money by April 1, 2015. Beshear said he was concerned the deadline would cause future bond sales to lose their tax-exempt status.

The legislature gave the money to Lexington in 2012. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has promised to repay the money.

This year, Beshear and House Democrats tried unsuccessfully to include $65 million in state-backed bonds in the budget to pay for Rupp Arena renovations. Senate Republicans blocked the money over concerns about the financing plan.

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Massive Asian carp die-off reported in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky officials now say about a half-million Asian carp died in the Cumberland River below Lake Barkley dam and believe the bulk of the kill is over.

Fisheries biologists with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources were in the area in western Kentucky on Friday and are trying to determine what caused the invasive silver carp to die.

Fish and Wildlife’s western fisheries district biologist, Paul Rister, says anglers were seeing dead fish up to two weeks ago, and it’s believed the peak of the die-off is past.

Rister says the pattern is typical of a kill caused by a viral pathogen. Silver carp, which aren’t native to the U.S., seem to be the only fish affected.

Dying carp from the area will be tested at Kentucky State University.

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